Famous Black Scientists- Neil DeGrasse Tyson
Tonight I wanted to honor a great scientist as part of Black History Month. This man, Dr. Neil De Grasse Tyson, in addition to being an astrophysicist, author, lecturer, and celebrated TV host, is also the single most frequent guest on “The Colbert Report,” appearing over 7 times. Obviously, this isn’t his only accomplishment, (but in my opinion it is still the coolest).
Dr. Tyson is currently head of the Hayden Planetarium in New York. He frequently gives lectures and talks to schools and universities across the nation, and has served on many scientific committees. Tyson has also served as a presidential advisor. In 2001, President George W. Bush appointed him to a commission on the future of the aerospace industry. He also served another commission three years later to examine U.S. policy on space exploration. However, Dr. Tyson and his planetarium came under attack in 2006, when after Pluto was no longer deemed a planet by the International Astronomical Union. Dr. Tyson took the bold step of removing his model of Pluto from its place among the other planets in the planetarium. This eventually spawned a storm of hate mail from people across the world, determined to protect Pluto’s status as a planet. Dr. Tyson’s response was to compose his best-selling book “The Pluto Files,” which was eventually produced as a TV special hosted by Tyson on PBS. Below is a selection from that program where Steven Colbert humorously illustrates why people got so angry at Pluto’s removal from the official planetary list.
In recent years, Dr. Tyson has become something of a superstar as the host of the PBS program “Nova Science NOW,” a program that probes the origins of the Earth and the scientific principals that govern our lives. In everything he has done, Dr. Tyson has pursued a goal of making science accessible and understandable to everyone.
“One of my goals is to bring the universe down to Earth in a way that further excites the audience to want more”
-Neil DeGrasse Tyson